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Earn tons of credits with passengers in Elite: Dangerous

With the latest update of „Elite: Dangerous“ it is possible to ferry passengers for money. If you were already working as an explorer, there is now an opportunity to transport well-paying VIPs to distant worlds while exploring the unknown.

There is a very simple formula for this:

Asp Explorer + Exploration = Credits Asp Explorer + Exploration + Passengers = Even more credits

Depending on your standing to minor factions, you will always find passengers willing to go on long-distance trips way beyond the bubble. Not only are these missions well paid – along the way you will encounter lots of unexplored systems, waiting for you to tag and explore them, which in turn leads to even more money and fame as an explorer.

I have already seen missions worth 2 to 50 (sic!) million credits, for carrying eight passengers on a long-distance trip.

My workhorse for this kind of missions is my good-old Lakon Asp Explorer; it combines an immense jump range with enough room for comfortable passenger accommodations.

What passenger cabins are available?

Passenger cabins are regular modules, like cargo space or shield generators. Passenger cabins exists in sizes 2–6, with a weight span of 2.5–40t. The biggest module size for an Asp Explorer is also size 6 – what a coincidence.

Passenger cabins are available in three different comfort levels – in dedicated passenger ships (like ships built by Saud-Kruger) there is also a fourth luxury class:

  • First class
  • Business class
  • Economy class

The more luxurious a cabin gets, the more demanding (and paying) passengers you will be able to host. But luxury has its price: Modules are more expensive, and have room for less passengers.

Size (Luxury) First Class Business Economy Weight
6 (8) 12 16 32 40t
5 (4) 6 10 16 20t
4 3 6 8 10t
3 3 4 5t
2 2 2.5t

Important note: Groups of passengers seem to demand to travel in the same module. To carry one group of eight passengers, you will need one module with a passenger capacity of at least 8. Two modules with a capacity of 4 each will not suffice, even though there would be space enough for two groups of four passengers.

How do I modify my Lakon Asp Explorer?

Because your Lakon Asp Explorer will be already crammed with exploration equipment needed for your exploration tasks, there are only limited options to add extra passenger space.

The modules in questions have these stats:

Size Fuel Scoop (A) Shields Passengers (Business)
6 878 kg/s 540t OHM 16
5 577 kg/s 405t OHM 8
3 176 kg/s 165t OHM 3

Most business travelling groups consist of eight passengers max. In my opinion there is also a necessity to carry a fuel scoop with a big intake and shields able to withstand rough treatment of your exploration vessel (and weapons fire on return to the bubble).

Given the Lakon Asp Explorer's hull amounts to 280t, shield generators class 3 are not truly optimal, but still offer some basic protection.

Combinations

If we disregard the usage of shield generators class 6, these combinations of modules do exist:

Size A B C D
6 Fuel Scoop Fuel Scoop Passengers Passengers
5 Shields Passengers Fuel Scoop Shields
3 Passengers Shields Shields Fuel Scoop

Variant „A“ and „B“ focus on fast refuelling, which is somewhat crucial to keep you sanity on long-distance trips. The „A“-variant has only room for four passengers, while the „B“-variant opts for weaker shield support. In reality passenger groups most often will have more than four passengers, while you may very well survive driving an Asp with only light shielding.

„C“- and „D“-variant offer the most space for passengers, allowing for up to eight passengers in first class. While the „C“-variant is still able to scoop fuel fast, the „D“-variant has the biggest shielding one could wish for.

BTW: Even if you were to dedicate two class 3 modules for passengers, there will be only space for 8 economy passengers or 6 business passengers. There will never be enough space for first class modules. So if you are really interested to make money on your exploration trips, you will have to sacrifice your size 6 / 5 module slot.

Conclusion

If you are working as an explorer, there is a golden opportunity to earn millions by carrying paying passengers along. With your Lakon Asp Explorer there are only a few compromises to consider.

Even more flexible you'd be with a Faulcon DeLacy Python – but to even think about this options requires you to have the money to afford one. 😉

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